Thursday, May 19, 2011

Melatonin: A Cure for Mania

Since I am such an insomniac, I tried a little experiment where I took sleeping pills for two full weeks.  I just wanted to see if actually getting eight to nine hours of sleep every night for a two-week period would improve my overall quality of life.  To clarify, it wasn't actually hard-core sleeping pills.  It was Melatonin, which is some kind of natural herb, I guess.  From what I understand, the human body is supposed to naturally produce melatonin on its own, but the herbal supplement is available for those who seem to not be producing optimal levels in the evening, thus suffering from sleep-deprivation.

Okay, so two full weeks of taking these pills, and here are the results:

On the upside, I got between eight to nine hours of sleep every single night.  I slept very heavily and uninterrupted.  Dogs barking (or sheep bahhhing) never stirred me awake.  My first time opening my eyes was always when my alarm went off in the morning.  Amazing.  I never thought that kind of sleep was possible for me.  Furthermore, the good nights of sleep seemed to make my moods more level during the day.

On the downside,  I had strange dreams every night.  When I awoke each morning, I was more tired than usual.  It took me longer to get going, when usually I can just jump right out of bed.  Some days I experienced very vague, slight headaches.  And even though my moods were more level during the day, I felt more "blah."  Yes, I didn't have any spurts of moodiness these last two weeks, but I didn't have any of my manic highs either; my insane spurts of unsolicited happiness which I have come to love.  I just felt so...normal and there

So last night, for the first time in two weeks, I decided to ditch the sleeping pill.  And of course, as a result, I was up all night.  But I jumped right out of bed this morning, instantly awake.  I had no headache, and went to work in a ridiculously good mood.  I came home from work and chided Clint because he was so tired and boring.  "Look at me," I bragged, "I've only had a few hours of sleep and I'm still going.  I'm not even close to being tired"  About fifteen minutes later I crashed on the couch.  I think Clint was in the middle of a sentence, but I couldn't even tell you what he was talking about.

Now I'm wondering if I should take the sleeping pills or not.  On the one hand, it's guaranteed sleep.  I need that so bad.  On the other hand, I feel like the pills actually mellow me out...they take my manic personality away. And I don't know if I want that. If I can't feel ridiculously hyper and silly one second and come crashing down the next, what's the point of that? I like extremes because we only have this one little life to live and I like to feel stuff.

Sorry if that was too deep.  Blame it on Melatonin withdrawals.